10 easy countries to visit on a South African passport

Sunset over the beach next to rocks and greenery

3.33min read

Published 19 August 2019


South African passport holders now have a world of possibilities at their fingertips. While there are still countries that demand a pre-approved visa, obtaining one can be tedious and costly. However, fear not! If you possess a South African passport and prefer to bypass the visa application process, there is an alternative worth considering. Numerous countries offer zero or straightforward immigration requirements, often granting visas upon arrival.

To help you plan your adventures, we have curated a list of these countries in alphabetical order, along with the respective number of days tourists are permitted to stay.

So, don't let the "green mamba" South African passport hinder you from embarking on exhilarating journeys to new and captivating destinations.

Hong KongRepublic of Ireland

One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
Henry Miller, Mr


Just a few hours' drive from Gauteng is Botswana. Famous for its diamond mining activities, this country is also famous for its spectacular wildlife experiences. For instance, the Okavango swamp is home to the "Big Five" animals and is also a sought-after fishing destination.  Whether you choose to visit an exclusive safari lodge or DIY camping site, Botswana is one of the best places to connect with Mother Africa.

No tourist visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

Hong Kong

The cityscape is adorned with towering skyscrapers that showcase the cutting-edge architectural marvels of the 21st century. The nightly ‘Symphony of Lights’, a captivating multimedia show illuminating the city's skyline, is a must-see spectacle that leaves tourists in awe. Shopaholics will find true happiness in Hong Kong, where a shopping experience like no other awaits. From bustling street markets to glamorous shopping malls and luxury brand boutiques, the city offers endless opportunities to indulge in retail therapy.

No tourist visa is required for stays of up to 30 days.


Take the comfortable four-hour flight to the island of Mauritius. This country offers so much for tourists to see and explore, both on land and of course along its coastline. Leave the hustle and bustle of SA for the warm blue sea, sparkling white sands and tropical wonders of this aptly named ‘Heaven on Earth’ island. Mauritius continues to captivate South African travellers with its irresistible blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and warm hospitality. Its proximity, magnificent beaches, favourable climate, rich cultural tapestry, and luxurious accommodations make it an ideal tropical escape.

No tourist visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.

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Expert tip

Try the local street food including boulettes (Mauritian dim sum), dhal puri (Indian styled flatbreads) and gateau piment (chilli cake).


Product Manager



More than just prawns and cashew nuts, Mozambique is a virtually unspoilt natural wonderland embracing the eastern seaboard of the lower part of the African continent.  Not only home to the rather special Gorongosa National Park, but its extensive coastline is also dotted with great scuba diving, big game fishing and lazing-away destinations. For sea lovers, there are the Quirimbas and the Bazaruto Archipelagos while just a short ferry trip from Maputo is Inhaca Island with its great tourist infrastructure. (Note: prawns and cashew nuts are always on the menu!)

No tourist visa is required for stays of up to 30 days.


Peru's appeal is its ability to offer a unique blend of history, natural wonders, cultural diversity, and culinary delights. The country has something to offer every traveller, whether it is a trek through the Andes, puzzling over the Nazca Lines, taking the train ride to Machu Picchu, or visiting its vibrant cities and savouring the country's culinary delights. Explore the Amazon by boat or kayak at Lake Titicaca.

No tourist visa is required for stays of up to 180 days.


Sometimes overshadowed by its better-known neighbours, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the independent emirate of Qatar is fast becoming a popular tourist destination. Its ascent as a top tourist destination can be attributed to its remarkable ability to blend tradition with modernity, its commitment to luxurious hospitality, and its wealth of natural and cultural treasures. It boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a myriad of water sports activities. From desert experiences to exploring mangrove swamps Qatar is an unforgettable tourist destination.

No tourist visa is required for stays of up to 30 days.

Unique spiral architecture on the waterfront in Qatar lined by palm trees and boats
Unique spiral architecture on the waterfront in Qatar lined by palm trees and boats
Unique spiral architecture on the waterfront in Qatar lined by palm trees and boats

Republic of Ireland

A great all-rounder and the land of leprechauns, legends and Guinness, the Republic of Ireland may very well be the only Western European country South African passport holders can visit without a visa.  Ireland's natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, vibrant cities, warm hospitality, and ease of travel (no language barrier, for example) combine to create an irresistible allure for tourists. From the stunning landscapes that inspire awe to the enchanting cities and towns that embrace visitors with open arms, Ireland offers a diverse range of experiences that captivate the hearts of all visitors.

No tourist visa is required for stays of up to 90 days.


Pristine beaches, unspoilt forests and unique natural treasures ranging from the tiny Tiger Chameleon to giant Aldabra tortoises and the unique Coco de Mer nut found nowhere else on Earth, epitomise the island nation of Seychelles. For South African travellers seeking a tropical getaway that is within easy reach, the Seychelles is an unparalleled destination. Its geographical proximity, stunning beaches, rich biodiversity, and cultural fusion make it an irresistible choice for those longing for an unforgettable holiday. The Seychelles promises a harmonious blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration.

A visitor's visa is issued on arrival and valid for one month.


Thailand literally bursts with beautiful, see-it-to-believe-it tropical beaches, affordable food and fascinating culture.  As a bonus is the favourable exchange rate between the Tai Baht and the South African Rand which makes it particularly appealing to South African travellers.  Thailand's allure as a top tourist destination stems from a combination of factors, including its breathtaking natural beauty, vibrant culture, affordability, warm hospitality, and an abundance of activities.

No tourist visa is required for stays of up to 30 days.



Istanbul is the only city in the world to be situated on two continents.  Its geographic location and former glory as the trading centre of the Middle East have infused the country with a rich heritage.

Turkey's diverse offerings, from its rich historical heritage and stunning landscapes to its gastronomic delights and warm hospitality, make it an irresistible destination for travellers seeking a captivating and immersive experience. Whether you're fascinated by history, seeking adventure or relaxation in nature, or simply looking to soak up the vibrant culture, Turkey is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Apply for a free e-visa online at least 48 hours before departure.


To summarise, the above countries typically offer visa-free entry or allow South Africans to obtain a visa on arrival. However, and we cannot emphasise this strongly enough, it is crucially important to verify the specific entry requirements, such as the duration of stay allowed, as these can vary.  Note that visa regulations can and often do change (especially with the threat of Covid still looming over the world), so it is not only a very good idea, but also an essential one, to check with the embassy's or consulate's travel advisories of the country you plan to visit for the most up-to-date information.

Ready to add some stamps to that little green book? Take a look at our wide selection of deals here.

And once you have decided on the visa-free destination you have chosen to visit contact our expert consultants to arrange the details for you so that you can head off into the wide blue yonder and enjoy a fabulous holiday of your choice. 

*All information provided is true and correct on date of publishing

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